DVI output, ATI or nVidia

Dr. Michael J. Chudobiak mjc at avtechpulse.com
Wed Jun 27 14:23:28 UTC 2007

Lonni J Friedman wrote:
> Based on what criteria?  I'm still amused how people keep making that
> claim yet never provide any criteria, as if its just glaringly obvious
> to all but the most casual observer.

OK, random example: where is the nvidia bug tracker? Pretty standard 
support tool for anything linux-related - the kernel, xorg, gnome, kde, 

>> The only "bad" thing is that all current intel devices are integrated on
>> the motherboard, and you generally need an ADD2 card to get the DVI port
>> (and a LCD monitor with "DDC/DI" capability - obscure but important!)
>> But if you have that... it just works!
> So if you have specific hardware, it works.  That seems like a rather
> huge hurdle (and a rather poorly documented one, at that).

Not a huge hurdle, but it is limiting, I agree. Nonetheless, it is a 
lower hurdle than making closed binary drivers work reliably, I find 

> How do you mean "if the integrated intel chip doesn't work for you"?
> I thought you said that support for Intel is superior to non-open
> source options.  Either it is superior or its not.

Glad to clarify: It is superior.

The point was, if you get the cheap integrated chip and you find it 
doesn't meet your needs (for whatever reason: there's a bug that affects 
you, you decide that you really need to edit full-length motion pictures 
in real time on your computer, you become a competitive gamer, etc) you 
can slap in an ATI/nvidia card. You can go both ways: decent open driver 
on the intel hardware, or closed higher-performance binary driver on the 
add-in card. Doesn't apply to laptops of course, but hopefully you 
aren't editing movies on a laptop.

> As long as "everyone else" doesn't include anyone running workstation
> graphics applications or anyone in the film industry or anyone doing
> GPGPU work, or even casual gamers who want to play Quake every now &
> then.  I could go on and on, but I think my point is clear.  You're
> concept of "everyone else" is an extremely small percentage of the
> graphics market from a revenue perspective.

Fair enough - from a revenue perspective. MS Windows also dominates 
server OS sales - from a revenue perspective. Not true from a count of 
installations, of course.

> Fan boy much?  Opening the driver does not equate with aggressively
> supporting linux.  The list of companies that have released the specs
> or an open source driver, and provided very poor support (the source
> only works with a specific kernel version, its buggy, its incomplete,
> etc) is rather long.  Open sourcing a driver does not equate with
> aggressive linux support.  You're deluding yourself if you truly
> believe that it does.

Are you trying to say that intel doesn't really support linux? Or that 
nvidia's linux support is actually better? Or what?

Are you comfortable with the fact that the source code and development 
process for the kernel, the application software (word processors, image 
browsers, the gimp, cinepaint), the other drivers (mouse driver, network 
driver, ...) are open, but the video driver is binary and secret?

Is it good that the kernel bugzilla says "NO BINARY MODULES or other 
tainted kernels. Do not file bugs here if you have any binary kernel 
modules loaded, reproduce without that module first. NVIDIA users - THIS 

In what way is the closed nvidia code and process better than being 
open? How does that benefit users?

- Mike

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